Guest Post: Baby Swing Batteries/Plug Switch Modification

In 2007 I wrote about how to convert a baby swing from battery powered to wall plug powered. It's one of my favorite posts because it gets a few comments and seems to be helpful to other people.

One of the latest comments was from Todd Matyi.  He was inspired by the post and decided to improve on the original design by making the swing able to have batteries installed while using a plug.  It's a pretty slick solution!

Todd was kind enough to send me the details of his swing modification with permission to post it here.  The following text and pictures are courtesy of Todd Matyi.

swing2My modification included a 2-way switch that allowed me to choose whether I wanted to use battery power or AC power.  This allowed me to plug in the AC power without having to remember to remove the batteries beforehand.

Below is my shopping list from Radio Shack and basic instructions for the modification.  I also included some pictures of the final product.
Please feel free to include my email address tmatyi (at) matyi (dot) com in case people have questions.
-Radio Shack Shopping List-
  • 6v 800mA AC Power Adapter $22.99 (Radio Shack lets you choose power tip for free.  I selected a size M to go with my power jack)
  • DC Power Jack - Size M $2.99 (PN 2741563)
  • 2 way toggle switch $2.99 (PN 2750636) Receipt Description DPDT 6A F.LVR SW
  • #22 Solid Core Electrical wire $6.99 (PN 2781221) Package included 3 (Red, Black, Green) rolls of wire.
Basic Instructions
  1. Remove screws and open cover. 
  2. Figure out where you want your switch and DC Power Jack.  Use your new wire and cut off enough Black and Red wire to make it to the top of your battery pack. I used 2 sets (Red & Black) approx 9 inches and 1 set (Red & Black) approx 5 inches. Allow enough for mistakes!!
  3. I used a 15 watt soldering gun and soldered 3 sets of wires to the toggle switch. 9" set to middle and side of switch.  Short wires 5" to the other side of switch.  Then I soldered the other side of the short 5" wires to my DC power jack.
  4. Marked and Drilled holes into the plastic large enough to mount my switch and DC power jack.  Measure twice cut once!!!  You only get one shot at this so make sure everything will fit where you want it!!
  5. Clipped the wires that went from the battery pack to the swing electronics.  I personally clipped both wires just above the battery pack.
  6. Splice the wires from the swing electronics to the middle wires on the switch.  Then splice battery pack wires to the remaining set of toggle switch wires.  I used butt end connectors and crimped the wires together.
When completed, visually make sure everything is hooked up properly.  Switch one way goes to battery pack, switch the opposite way goes to the DC Power Jack.
I mounted the switch so that is visually represents this as well.


In the pictures you can see I mounted the switch between the two options making it visually easier to choose power source.  Test before you mount the top!!
Good luck!!!!!

tmatyi (at) matyi (dot) com

A Hike in the Woods

Alex and I took a break from my thesis this afternoon to take a walk around our neighborhood. After a short time Alex insisted that we head into the forest. We followed deer tracks and an unfortunate amount of deer poop deep into the woods.

I took this picture when I realized that we had gone so far we could no longer see any houses.

Alex was insistant that he draw a map so we could find our way back.  He drew the path and noted landmarks as we passed uniquly shaped trees or man made materials.  We actually used the map to track our way back home.  It was a lot of fun.

Children Will Listen

This morning I was sitting at the kitchen table marveling over Conner's ability to assemble a puzzle with the color side facing down. Alex came in and distracted me.

He had found a Statue of Liberty silver dollar in my dresser. He asked about the Statue and I explained that it was a gift from France and when people come to America they see it as a symbol of the freedom and opportunity we have here.

I mentioned that our new president was going to open the statue so that people could climb up to the top and look out the crown again. Alex asked "Why can't people go up there now"?

And that's when I went on a rant about our previous president and how he'd taken the rather strange step of shutting off access to our giant symbol of freedom.  I'm pretty sure I said something about fear mongering.

All this time Conner was sitting at the table putting together a puzzle, and it didn't even occur to me that he was listening.

Later that afternoon, on a drive to my parents house, Conner was chatting with Allison in the back of the car. Christine and I were blissfully enjoying the fact that his constant stream of question and comments had, if briefly, found another target.  And then, after a short silence, we heard him say this:

Allison. Errack Obama's our present [Conner's way of saying president].  Our old present was a mean man.  I think he's in jail now.  Errack Obama's a nice present.

So it appears Sondheim was right... Children will listen... And learn...